TIL of the Vipeholm Experiments in Sweden. In the 1950s, intellectually disabled people were fed sweets to see whether sugar caused cavities. While unethical, this study greatly contributed to what we know about dental health.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipeholm_experiments

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. We gotta bring back unethical experiments, they get shit done.

    Lot of things would be solved of there was a waver instead of just going out in vans collecting all the weird people in your country as forced test subjects.

    Hardly two generations ago governments just like, owned the special needs people? And when their time came, instead of like, trying to intelligently undue the personal and social damage done by these institutions, governments were just like “not my problem anymore, on to the streets you go!”

  2. I somewhat resent the fact that with these kinds of stories, the writers feel the need to include the fact that the results turned out quite usefull later.

    While true, it paints a picture of ethics being some kind of barrier in getting usefull results.


    The truth is that many of these ethically questionable experiments are questionable because it’s now understood that the same results could have been achieved by much less ethically wrong methods. (and often, the scientists knew this but simply chose to act otherwhise due to reasons like costs or simply a lack of care)


    E.g. Throwing people of a church tower could be a great experiment to demonstrate gravity.

    Newton could have gotten al his results by doing that and we could then write articles about how his methods were questionable but his results were still usefull today.

    But the same results were achieved without throwing people of buildings.

Leave a Reply